Return to Latter Days/Lonely Nights Chapter Thirty-Seven

Latter Days/Lonely Nights

Author: Willownut
Disclaimer: Blah, blah, blah. Many characters are Joss Whedon's. Yada, yada, yada. No harm intended with the use of these revered characters. Peas and carrots, peas and carrots.

Day 9 -Friday, November 16, 1984)

"Always?" Willow grinned. "Can we have s'mores?"

Tara knew immediately what Willow was asking, but it was just too risky. "Well, s'mores should be limited to nighttime on campouts; they are more like a dessert, than a breakfast." Tara put on her best camping expert face. "And as much as I'd like s'mores, there just isn't enough time to make Um, I'm losing track of my analogy here. What were we talking about? I can't seem to keep it straight."

"Gee I hope not." Willow untangled her legs from the sheets and swung her legs over the side of the bed. She hopped down and helped Tara step back off the bunk. "I wouldn't want you to keep anything straight." Willow winked at Tara. "Especially when we were talking about lesbian chocolate treats."

Tara curled her lip up and wrinkled her brow in confusion. "Lesbian chocolate?" Her voice was hushed. "How on earth did we get from camping to lesbians?" Tara almost choked on the word each time she said it. "And when did we start talking about camping. Did I do that?"

Willow put a finger on Tara's sternum. "I believe you mentioned trail blazing," Willow began tracing a similar path down the Sacred Valley, "guides for mountain terrain," she slowed her hand when she reached Tara's stomach, and just as Tara had done, flattened her hand on her stomach, "and camping where it's safe." Willow caressed Tara's stomach for a moment and then left it in place. "And then I believe the lesbian chocolate came into the conversation," Willow leaned forward and gently kissed Tara.

"Okay, I still don't get it." Tara was feeling dense.

"Well "Kisses" are "Hershey's." Willow instructed. Tara still seemed confused so she continued. "Her...shes. Her-she's kisses. Lesbian Chocolate."

Tara looked slightly amused and skeptical. "That's a stretch, don't ya think?" Tara shook her head and giggled a little.

"Well, s'mores are just kisses in bars nestled in marshmallowy goodness." Willow took the opportunity to pull Tara toward her so their upper bodies were snuggly pressed against one another. "Hershey's chocolate. Same formula for a bar as they have for the little tear drop." Willow closed the gap between their faces and kissed Tara again, this time teasing her lips with her tongue.

Tara pulled away but remained close. She was starting to get distracted again and knew their time was running out, but the Hershey thing was amusing. Again, Willow seemed to have thought through everything, "And what about the graham cracker?"

"Oh, well, while it is true that uses of the term graham cracker are more pejorative today, the original intent of the graham cracker, and few people know this, was to cure lust - particularly self abuse," Willow made air quotes around self-abuse for emphasis, "by young women."[1]

Tara's eyes and mouth went wide. Did she mean...

Willow continued. "Although the original recipe had less sugar," Willow put her hands on Tara's waist. She placed another kiss on Tara's lips, which were still partly open, "and honey." Willow moved her left hand down over Tara's hip and then around to Tara's bottom before pulling them together again in a full body - full contact embrace.

Tara felt like Willow was everywhere. Her breath hitched and she felt the passion welling through her entire body. Oh, I think I need a Graham cracker. "Okay, I give." Tara knew that she would let Willow take her right there if she let her explain any more about snack foods and campouts, and this behavior, although quite stimulating, was not conducive to study or missionary work. Plus, they could be caught. "Willow, we have to stop."

"Uh huh." Willow was busy swooning with the contact. She felt lightheaded as well and was in desperate need of a cold shower. "No honey. Check." Willow rested her forehead on Tara's shoulder. "Will you let me answer your questions later tonight, 'cause you know how I love to impart useless information."

Tara considered the request. She really had needed to talk to Willow about what all of these labels meant, and her identity, and all the things that she had been wondering about, but at the moment, none of that seemed important. She knew that through the day she probably would refocus on the work and would likely be in a very different place mentally than she was now.

"Let's play it by ear." She knew the moment she said it, that she had walked into another opportunity for Willow to tease her.

Willow grinned and raised herself up on her toes and back down in excitement. "Okay!" Willow's eyes shot back and forth examining the delicious little treats on the sides of Tara's head. Tara felt a tremor of excitement.

"You know, you don't play fair." Tara shook her head with amusement.

"Oh, I'll do my best to be fair." Willow reached up and played with one of Tara's ears as she pulled away from her. "I'll make sure I give them both equal time." She moved her hand down to Tara's jaw-line to her neck. "But right now I really need to shake a tower."

When Tara recovered from the caress, she shook her head, "What?"

"I need to shake a tower, take a shower. It's a spoonerism." Willow walked over to her dresser and pulled out her bathroom bag, her towel, and a change of underwear. She went to her closet and stared at her selections.

"At the risk of finding out this is another euphemism or prelude to distractions of a physical nature, what is a spoodernism again?"

Willow let out a little bark of laughter. "Spoonerism.[2] It's when you mix up the first sounds of a couple of words in a sentence." Willow grabbed an outfit. "I'm gonna go and shake a tower, tush my breeth, and I'll le(e) back bater."

Tara laughed. "Do you just know everything?" She grinned with pride. Willow was just so smart and cute. How could she resist? "I'll see you in a bit."

"You'll be me in a sit." Willow giggled. She walked over to the door and turned back. "I'll be flack in a bash." She watched Tara working out the words. "Maybe you could work out your own noonerspisms while I'm gone." And with that, Tara was left alone to ponder.

She went back to the desk and sat down. The morning was certainly turning out much different than she had imagined. Waking up Willow was such an enjoyable experience. Where was I? Tara re-read her last entry.

I never really considered what it was like to "be" anything. I was always just Mormon. Being Mormon - Being Mormon was like belonging to something bigger than me. I was part of a whole and part of my family. If I weren't "being" Mormon what would I be, who would I be? Why do we have to have labels for everything? Why can't I just "be" Tara?

Why is this so hard? All I want is to be with Willow - to go out with Willow. Is that where that term comes from being out? No, I don't think so. Am I out? No, I'm pretty much in; I'm an inny. Is that like being a different kind of belly button? No, I'm pretty sure that's not it either.

I need to figure this out. There's that word again: out. Huh.


I'm really starting to be a babbler. Look at that.

Oh, well I went to have Willow help me with my questions, and we got distracted again. We do that sometimes. She's just so incredibly smart and she knows everything. The subject of "out" kinda got left out - well we were talking about the outdoors I guess, campouts and that sort of thing.

Tara started to chuckle. That word is so interesting: out. Just for amusement really, she couldn't study and she was still reeling from the emotional morning, Tara opened her notebook and started making a list.

Out: to be out - not in, open about, asleep/unconscious, not safe (baseball)...

Outwith it
Outskirt (ha)
Route ?
Out of Control
Out of Time
Out of Space
Out of Money
Out of Sight
Out of Place
Out of it (being)
Out of Touch (relationship)
Out of Town (places)
Out in Space
Out in Time
Out loud
Figure Out
Find Out
Get Out
Make Out
Butt Out
in and Out (conscious/place)
Back Out
Point Out
Put Out

After she was done with her list, Tara went back and really took a look at the words she'd written. Interesting. Wonder what Willow will see on this list. And what am I doing - I made a list. An actual list. She added a few more words and lines for reference so she'd be ready for Willow. When did I start being a list girl. I'm not a list girl. I'm more of a feelings explored in a private journal person.

Willow re-entered the room. She was dressed but her hair was still wet.

"It is your fault." Tara said as she turned to watch Willow complete her morning routine.

Willow looked over to examine Tara's face and realized she wasn't really angry. "My fault? What did I do?"

Tara laughed, "You made me listy," she parodied Willow's speaking style.

Willow giggled, "I made you listy? How did I do that?" She came over to the desk where Tara was still seated and looked over her shoulder.

Tara started to ramble, "I'm not a list person, and I've never been a list person. I'm a little organized, but never to the point where I make a big ole list, and certainly not enough to just look at a word before and make a list about it. That's something you would do, and with colors and charts and diagrams and oh just stop me now." She shook her head in amused frustration.

"Okay." Willow kissed the top of Tara's head. "Shoosh and Gimmee." She held out her hand.

Tara rolled her eyes in surrender and handed the notebook over. Willow reviewed the list Tara had made. After a few minutes of consideration, she began. Her voice cracked a little.

"Tara?" Her eyes were beseeching, "are you okay?"

"Yeah, uh huh," Tara didn't sound that convincing.

Willow could almost guess what Tara had been thinking about, but she didn't want to assume anything. This was a touchy subject at best. She reached past Tara and set the notebook back down on the desk next to Tara's open journal. She grabbed her own books and took them into her arms hugging them to her chest.

"Tara, this is a big and important list. And I think we should really talk through it tonight. I want some time to really consider how to best discuss this." Willow realized her tone was far too serious, so she quickly shifted gears, "I'm actually stalling because I can't decide what color I should use for my charts and diagrams." Willow winked and smiled; then she accentuated the comment with a quick flick of her tongue through her teeth.

Tara smiled back, she recognized the gesture and appreciated how Willow understood what she was up to.

Willow started again on a new topic. "So what you up for?"

Tara furrowed her brow for the second time that morning, "Are you always this perky in the morning?"

"What? No, um, well sometimes. I guess I'm just glad you're here; usually you're not here, and I am busy planning what I want to talk to you about during the day and now that you're here, well I probably shouldn't admit that I plan what I talk to you about cause that's just kinda strange I guess, but well it's complicated." Willow blew out a breath and pursed her lips, "So perky, well no."

Tara arched an eyebrow, "And do you always sleep like you've fallen out of a four story building, and hit a few trees on the way down before you land all catawampus?"

Willow took a quick breath to begin, then let it out again with a pout and hung her head.

Tara saw the chagrin on Willow's face and felt bad. "Oh, I found it totally cute." Tara reached out with a finger, placed it under Willow's chin, and applied a gentle pressure, "very endearing."

Willow lifted her head a little.

Tara continued, "But I have to warn you, there are some photos now of your position in bed this morning."

Willow's eyes shot open in horror. "Tara?"

"Don't worry, you were fine, just a little contorted. I had a Barbie doll that ended up looking like that once after our neighbor's dog chewed on it for about ten minutes." Tara got a little wistful, "I never liked that dog..."

"I'm more of a cat person. I find them more satisfying as pets because they have to really like you to show affection, and they can be so expressive, but it's subtle not in a big tail wagging, slobbering way, but in a genuine "I purr for you" way; not to mention they are soft and sweet. And they always smell nice." Willow continued, "Seems like they are more independent too. Which I think is an important quality in a person, not all clingy and follow you everywhere kind of stalking like, and will you wear my ring that says "I love you" sort of way." Willow stopped when she saw Tara smirking at her. "But that's a story for another day."

Tara looked at her watch, "Can we go out to the lounge?"

Willow looked puzzled by the sudden change of topic, "Yeah, sure." She furrowed her brow and looked at Tara with the unspoken question.

Tara answered as if she'd raised the issue aloud, "Because when you do that, I want to go all "little puppy" on you." She started to gather up her things, "And that might not be a good idea if someone came in right now."

Willow imagined a new puppy wagging it's tail, jumping up in her lap, reaching up to gently nip at her nose and lick her face in a frenzy. Although from Tara, the little puppy thing might not be objectionable; she was right, not conducive to staying with Tara if they were to be caught tail wagging together by Smith or Kitchen.

"You're right. Let's get out of here." Willow grabbed her hairbrush and books and followed Tara out to the lounge.

They resumed their regular positions on the couch, Tara opened her journal and Willow turned a few pages into her scriptures. After a few minutes sitting in silence, Willow broke the silence.

"It's about defining a boundary."

Tara looked up from her journal. She hadn't written a word, she'd been lost in contemplation when Willow interrupted the quiet. She looked up and put her pen down.

"Out," Willow picked up her thought, "It defines an imaginary or self-defined limit." She picked up Tara's notebook and looked over the words again. "You captured it here in your third column: time, space, place, relationship, even states of being. The term "about" works the same way, only it measures close to the boundary.

"Out in space is somewhere outside of the atmosphere. Outside is defined by what is indoors. Out of sight - again that's relative to position and visual ability of the person looking. Outnumber is a relational boundary; us is more than you, or the number of persons in one group over another. Outlaw - a person not acting within the law. Outfield, in baseball, that is the area of grass beyond the dirt playing area of the infielders. Get out is a command to remove oneself from within a boundary of the commanding person's personal space.

"If you're out of your element, you are outside the area of an ability, or level of comfort you feel that you have. To "move out" means to get away from your family or more precisely your home. To be "out" means that you are beyond some boundary you have previously set for yourself. You can let a secret out by telling something that was previously unspoken; and "come out" to openly define yourself differently than what you thought you were before or differently than what you think others thought of you as before.

"It's a perception of the boundary that makes the word have meaning." Willow finished her thought and looked at Tara to see if she understood what she had meant.

Tara just sat there staring at Willow. Her heart was beating. She felt like she'd broken out into a sweat, but she wasn't warm. Her mouth had fallen open in amazement. She was even breathing harder than she should have been. Absentmindedly she said aloud, "That was so hot."

Willow hadn't expected that reaction and she was perplexed. "Huh?"

Tara shook her head in astonishment. She lowered her voice so no one but Willow would hear her. "You; you are so hot."

Willow shook her head, she could have sworn Tara said she was hot. "What? Huh? How?"

Tara continued to look at Willow. Now monosyllable Willow was also turning her on. She continued in a whisper, "I don't know how you do that. When you talk about the things in your head, when you teach me the things you know, it's the sexiest thing I've ever heard. Your babble is intoxicating, your wonder and love for things academic is enchanting and even when you are confused, it provokes a profound response in me. And I can't believe I just admitted that out loud."

Willow felt tears welling in her eyes, she had never had such raw emotion expressed about her. She felt a pressure on her chest as the feelings of warmth washed through her. She felt like her hands were on fire and she wiped them on her skirt. "Tara, I..."

"Hey guys!" Sister Smith and Sister Kitchen had returned from gym. Smith continued. She addressed Tara, "Thanks for Shimai-sitting for us." Smith sensed she'd interrupted something. "We can take her back to our place now." Willow quickly grabbed her books and held them tightly to her chest.

Kitchen also felt they had intruded on a private moment, but it was too late now, "We'll see you at breakfast I hope? Watakushi takushi wa anata ni burekufasutu o miru to omoi masu ka?" (translated breakfast sentence) Kitchen finished her attempted sentence in slow motion.

Willow jumped up. "Goodo desu." [is 'good'].

Tara slowly got up. She felt a little weak in the knees, but she couldn't let on. "Daijobu. [okay] Ja, ato de, ne? [...later] Willow frowned. That sounded very slangy and she wanted to learn that. She pursed her lips and nodded at Tara who replied again to the unspoken question, "Later."

With that, she was gone and Willow stood holding her books wondering what had just happened between them.

1: I swear I donít make this stuff up.

2: and for more fun:

Continue to Latter Days/Lonely Nights Chapter Thirty-Nine

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